They rose to the occasion after a terrible tragedy, taking on the rallying cry of "Boston Strong" and fulfilling the dreams of a city and region that desperately needed something to celebrate.
This year has been disappointing almost from the get-go. Aside from the ring ceremony, which was as touching as expected, there's been precious little to celebrate on Yawkey Way this season.
The Red Sox have been mathematically eliminated for a week now, when last year at this time we were on the edge of our collective seats, watching an unbelievably charismatic team dominate down the stretch.
The most ironic part is that what we've seen from this year's squad is what we were supposed to expect last season, but while last year everything seemed to go right, this year has been marred by underperformance, injuries, and trades. The 2013 Word Champion Boston Red Sox were like the Goonies: they never said die. They expected to win, and they played like it.
Not so this season. There's been an aura of surrender all season, and if it was a mere hint in the spring and early summer, it was practically the company line after the trade deadline fire sale.
Sure, there have been some promising performances from a few of the young players, and just today, Daniel Nava partied like it was 2010 with a grand slam.
Sadly, 2014 has been a forgettable season overall, but if you had asked me last year if I would take this season in exchange for the fun of 2013, I would have said yes a million times over.